JR Motorsports will expand into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for 10 races this season with driver Cole Custer.
Custer, who turns 17 this month, became the youngest winner in NASCAR National touring series history last season, claiming the Truck Series laurels at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in only his seventh career start. He and the No. 00 Chevrolet Silverado team will receive primary sponsorship from Haas Automation Inc.
“This is a new and exciting venture for us,” said JRM general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller. “We have come a long way since racing street stocks in 2002, and we are constantly evolving. Expanding into the Truck Series on a part-time basis is furthering our growth. Bringing in a talent like Cole and a great partner like Haas Automation is a great way to do that. I’m proud of the direction we’re heading.”
Haas Automation has sponsored Custer for four years. The company was founded in 1983 by industrialist Gene Haas, who said of the move, “I’ve watched Cole develop as a driver and young man for several years. When presented the opportunity to sponsor the championship team of JR Motorsports with Cole as the driver, I simply said, `yes.’ I have complete confidence in Dale Jr., Kelley, and Cole’s ability to take Haas Automation to Victory Lane.”
“I’m so excited to get this season started,” said Custer. “With all that JR Motorsports has accomplished over the past few years, we know we have everything needed to go win races and compete. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity with a better organization. I really want to thank Haas Automation, along with Kelley and Dale Jr. for putting this deal together.”
Custer’s trucks will be based out of a JR Motorsports satellite shop in Mooresville, North Carolina. Joe Shear, Jr., will serve as the team’s crew chief. Shear was Custer’s crew chief in 2014, when they competed in nine truck races with one win, two Top-5 and six Top-10 finishes, with two poles. Shear is a nine-time winner in the Camping World Truck Series.
Custer’s 10-race NCWTS schedule includes races at Martinsville Speedway (March 28), Dover International Speedway (May 29), Gateway Motorsports Park (June 13), Iowa Speedway (June 19), Eldora Speedway (July 22), Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 19), Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Aug. 30), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Sept. 26), Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 31) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 13).
In addition to NCWTS competition, JR Motorsports will field cars in select NASCAR K&N Pro Series and ARCA events in 2015, as part of Custer’s development. Specific dates and events in those two series will be announced at a later date.